India. With the socio-cultural changes that have collected steam over the previous year, a lot of us have been forced to look inside and examine our behaviors and our role in – deliberately or instinctively – enabling the status quo to rankle. The pandemic has familiarized notable shifts in peoples’ lives, including their working styles. Before COVID-19 hit the world, people at work would rush their way through various struggles to make it in time to reach their offices.
The novel coronavirus has changed how we used to live hence people have taken several steps and major decisions. The pandemic has assuredly given rise to diverse working styles and now it seems there is no going back.
Hybrid Working model: Best or worst?
According to recent research, 71% of workers surveyed are doing their job from home all or most of the time, and more than 50 % said that, if given the choice, they would continue working from home even after the pandemic. The virus has caused a major shift in company work habits that were once considered challenging, according to a November 2020 McKinsey report.
When companies adapted the new work culture by starting work-from-home they thought it’s just a matter of few months and things will be back to normal but the virus hasn’t made it possible. It’s been more than a year and people are still working from home. The companies have realized that this pandemic is not going anywhere hence they have given full liberty to their employees to work remotely.
Mr. Pawan Gadia, CEO Online & Retail, Ferns N Petals stated “In current times wherein we value our team’s safety as the first priority, the majority of our team is working from home. Out of the entire team, around 20% of them are coming to work on a need basis, as per the planned schedule so as to minimize the team size in the office. When implemented correctly, a hybrid work model can actually give us the BEST of both worlds. However, we still have a lot to learn about this new business environment, just like any other niche. We at Ferns N Petals have implemented the hybrid style of working, at the same time we are still figuring out what rules work, what management practices fit in, and how to refine the existing processes. The focus should remain on how the work is being done, rather than where it’s being done”
Vinit Khandare, CEO & Founder, MyFundBazaar Pvt Ltd told Transcontinental Times that “With the pandemic has become a part of the new normal in the recent times and with employees, having the freedom of flexibility, working in different spaces and from home, WFH has its own benefits be it – saving time and money commuting and finishing the tasks of the day in a shorter duration of time. At the same time, workers have also experienced drawbacks as well such as distractions at home, a lack of face-time with their colleagues, diminished work-life balance, and a tendency to work more hours than usual.
Therefore, it is important to bring about a balance in the working style that brings out the best of both options – working from home and working from the office”
Four-day work a week: Virtuous thought
In February 2021, the government finalizes the rules for the new labor codes, the Labour Ministry considered giving flexibility to companies to have four working days instead of five or six.
In India during April and May this year, the second wave of coronavirus was at par. There was so much going on with the people at work as well as in their personal lives.
During the second wave phase, a few companies like Swiggy, OYO Hotels, Advertising agencies like DDB Mudra, MullenLowe Lintas Group, and WatConsult have been very supportive of their employees and stepped up to provide four-day workweek
Mr. Chayan Mukhopadhyay, Co-founder, and CEO of Qandle said “Any model is dependent on the kind of work, and the quality of the workforce. If an employee can achieve the same targets in 4 days then it is feasible. However, we are talking about an entire workforce, along with the stakeholders like clients that are connected. If a model by all facets is acceptable to the stakeholders without tampering with the company’s output, then yes there is scope”
“Putting aside COVID-19, if one has to be honest about how much work was getting done at the office, from coming in late to taking constant bathroom breaks and team lunches, there isn’t much productivity in terms of getting the work done. While a four-day workweek seems a virtuous thought to many, if one actually thinks about it, putting one’s phones away, no social media and no idle chit-chat could instill employees to focus on their job without any distractions hence finishing their work in a five-hour period of time.
This also gives the employee the opportunity to go home and have the luxury to take out time for themselves. At the end of the day, it is about completing the tasks laid out for the week as an organization and not the number of hours one puts in to complete the same amount of work” Added Mr. Khandare.